“The NATO Alliance plays a critical role in our collective security efforts in the face of common threats and challenges.” – Secretary Michael R. Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State
On December 1-2, 2020, Secretary Pompeo participated in the virtual NATO Foreign Ministerial. Formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty, NATO is a security alliance of 30 countries from North America and Europe. NATO’s fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means. NATO remains the principal security instrument of the Transatlantic community and an expression of its common democratic values.
NATO is also the practical means through which the security of North America and Europe are tied together. Article 5 of the Washington Treaty — that an attack against one Ally is an attack against all — is at the core of the Alliance, a promise of collective defense. As Secretary Pompeo has said, “The U.S. commitment to NATO and Article 5 is ironclad. We have stood with our Allies over the last 70 years, and we will continue to stand with them against any and all threats to our Transatlantic security.”
In addition to its traditional role in the territorial defense of Allied nations, NATO leads the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, NATO Mission Iraq, and has ongoing missions in the Balkans and the Mediterranean; it also conducts extensive training exercises and offers security support to partners around the globe, including the European Union in particular but also the United Nations and the African Union. In recent years, NATO has adapted to new challenges like cyber attacks and hybrid threats that target our economies and infrastructure.
As a political and military alliance, NATO directly contributes to the security, prosperity, and liberty of the people of the United States and every Ally. NATO promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defense and security issues to build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict. Forged over 70 years of history, our NATO links remain the foundation of American security.
Learn more about the U.S. Mission to NATO here.
About the Author: Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison is the Permanent Representative of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.